It's been a week of incredible highs and lows in my son Dylan's life. And, as a mother - my life as well.
Dylan is a senior. I'm getting a bit emotional as we face the "lasts" of everything in his high school career. This last week was particularly challenging as he finished his last wrestling season ever with a trip to the state finals.
He almost didn't make it to state, but if you've read my blog in the past, you'll know he was prayed for by a coach and received miraculous healing to finish the season. And he finished brilliantly - taking first place in one of the last tournaments and qualifying for state.
What I haven't written about is how much sacrifice it took on his part to get to this point. He's very hard working when it comes to training. Besides that, he also has cut a lot of weight. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say that it's involved a lot of personal discipline and sacrifice. As a result, his season was very successful with only a few losses.
Thursday was the first day of the state finals, and sadly he lost his first match. He was disappointed but not crushed. He knew the competition was a step above what he'd faced throughout the season. He won his second match, but in the middle of the match something happened. The other boy tripped Dylan, and Dylan fell twisting his knee. The same knee that had been injured earlier in the season.
Dylan couldn't get up. He lay face down on the mat for a few seconds, causing his coaches and trainer to run to his side. After a few more seconds, Dylan managed to pull himself up. He nodded his head at the coaches and ref, saying he was okay to finish. On pure adrenalin, Dylan finished the match and won. But not without injury.
He limped off the mat, and one of his coaches almost carried him into the stands. The trainer wrapped his knee in ice, and Dylan's face reflected the searing pain. Thankfully there was a break, and the team went back to the hotel. Dylan got carried. During the break, the coaches cared for Dylan, and I know he received prayer again.
But when they got back to the arena, Dylan was still in excruciating pain. It is at this point that most people would have recommended Dylan not wrestle. He could barely stand. But I've learned something over the past years of parenting this young man. He doesn't do what most people do. So his grandmother, dad and I sat in the stands white knuckled. I was just sick watching him limp onto the mat. As much as Dylan tried to hide the pain, it was obvious. I saw his face, and knew his opponent did too. There would be no mercy.
The next six minutes were some of the hardest of my life. My son was determined to not get pinned, and wrestled with all his heart. He couldn't stand, but with tears he couldn't stop streaming down his face, he did the best he could. But, although he lost the match, he didn't get pinned. The crowd erupted in cheers for Dylan. It was obvious to everyone that he finished that match like a champion.
By that point, I was sobbing. And I wasn't the only one. I don't think there was a member of his team that didn't get choked up, some didn't hide their tears. They knew it was Dylan's last match, and they knew how hard he had worked. It was heartbreaking. One of the coaches picked my 6' son up like a baby and carried him to his team who surrounded him with love. People he didn't know came up to him, commenting on his heart and fortitude.
I know Dylan doesn't feel like a champion today. But I couldn't be prouder of him. Facing a sure loss, he fought with everything he had left. There was nothing else he could have done. And it made me realize that a champion isn't defined by a medal, or award, or promotion, or contract, or anything else. It's courage, determination and sacrifice that makes a champion. And on Valentine's day, I'm recognizing how far one's heart can take them.
In our family we've got our champion. His name is Dylan. And I couldn't be prouder if he had won first place.
|This is Dylan the morning after the match. He's enjoying a |
4-layer Rice Crispy treat sandwich.
There's also another winner to announce. That's the winner of last week's book giveaway. Based on a random number, "Everyday Blessings" has won. I've sent a personal email, but just in case it didn't arrive, please email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to everyone who entered. I'm blessed that you took the time to read my blog, and share your favorite books. I loved reading all your comments.
In His Love,